After spending his 33rd birthday inside the "small dark hole" of solitary confinement, U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has been returned to the general prison population of Evin Prison in Iran.
"His release from solitary is a direct result of the multitudes praying. I am relieved my husband is out of solitary, but still am deeply concerned about Saeed's health. While this is a small victory, I am still demanding justice be done and that Saeed be released," Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, said in a statement posted by The American Center for Law and Justice.
The pastor, who has been in jail in Tehran since September 2012 and was sentenced to eight years in prison in January, supposedly for endangering national security, had been in solitary confinement for more than a week. more >>
A conservative United Methodist pastor with a traditional view of marriage says that a clergyman set to be on trial for officiating his son's gay wedding acted in a way that is "injurious to the church."
Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of the Methodist group Good News, shared his feelings in an interview earlier this week with the New York Times.
"Reverend [Thomas W.] Ogletree is acting in a way that is injurious to the church, because it fosters confusion in the church about what we stand for," said Lambrecht. "And it undermines the whole covenant of accountability that we share with each other as pastors." more >>
Noted theologian and founder of Desiring God Ministries, John Piper confessed that he is an introvert affected by brokenness, but God used him anyway to build a powerful ministry and pastor it successfully for 33 years.
This week, in a discussion about his 33 years of ministry with 75 pastors, Piper confessed to not really being a people person and shared how God was able to turn that feature of his personality into a blessing for his congregation.
"It's amazing how many introverts go into the ministry. It's amazing how many people go into the ministry who don't really like to be with people," Piper told his audience. "Now a lot of people would say that's a bad thing, you should repent of that, turn around and do something else or learn to hang out with people." more >>
A report from the Pennsylvania Pastors' Network reveals that approximately 20 percent of evangelical pastors in the Keystone State are "not in sync" on significant moral and doctrinal issues.
The report contains information compiled from a phone survey conducted by United in Purpose on behalf of PPN. The survey asked evangelical pastors from across the state to respond to 20 questions pertaining to topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, the authority of the Bible, and how a person can be spiritually saved. The results of the survey are being released in several parts over time.
When asked to respond to the statement, "People can receive eternal salvation only through personal repentance of sin and the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 89 percent of pastors said they would "definitely" teach that position to their church. Another four percent of pastors said they would only "probably" teach that view, and seven percent said they would not teach it at all. more >>
Two of America's most popular megachurch pastors, Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church and T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House, both in Texas, are joining forces for the annual family-themed three-day conference called MegaFest.
"MegaFest is a family-friendly festival bringing together the best of T.D. Jakes Ministries events including Woman Thou Art Loosed, Manpower, MegaKidz and the Mega-Youth Experience. One place. 3 Days. Inspiration, Music, Entertainment and Seminars. We're coming together," says a description for the Aug. 29-31 Dallas event on the official website.
In a video on the T.D. Jakes Ministries website, the Potter's House leader announces that fellow pastor Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria, will be speaking at the conference. In the video, the two Christian leaders express their excitement for the upcoming event. more >>
Television show producer and media consultant Phil Cooke recently shared that he once partnered with evangelist Joel Osteen as producers of Christian TV programming, including helping with Osteen's own broadcasts that now reach 10 million U.S. households each week.
Cooke and Osteen became close friends as well as colleagues when they worked on Pastor John Osteen's (Joel's father) prime-time TV specials. Osteen was recently interviewed by Cooke about the practical lessons he learned behind the camera that have contributed to his enormous influence in front of the camera. The interview can be read at MinistryToday.
The Christian Post interviewed Cooke, who is the CEO of Cooke Pictures in Hollywood, via email about Osteen and today's TV production for evangelists. more >>